Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the movement of teeth. It studies the growth and development of the teeth and jaws to provide a pleasing, aesthetic & symmetrical smile and a good functioning bite.
This is very important because primarily straight teeth are easier to clean and therefore increasing the lifespan of the teeth. And, off course an aesthetically pleasing smile is attractive and will boost your confidence and self-esteem.
A smile is the second thing people notice about you at a first impression after the eyes.
Braces use brackets placed on each individual tooth connected by wires to encourage teeth to move.
The brackets can be metal (silver), ceramic (tooth-coloured) or acrylic (translucent-so they are the shade of the tooth as with Six Month Smiles).
The wires are silver with metal brackets and tooth-coloured with ceramic or acrylic brackets.
Aligners are a series of tight-fitting custom-made retainers that slip over the teeth. Invisalign is the largest producer of clear aligners. They need to be worn 22 hours a day and should only be taken out for eating and cleaning the teeth. Each aligner is worn for 2 weeks and then you move on to the next one.
Both braces and aligners place a constant, weak force on the teeth to guide the teeth into the correct position gradually.
Retainers are only used to keep the teeth straight after the braces or aligners have finished their work. If they are not provided, then the teeth will move back into their original position.
There are two types, fixed and removable. We always provide both types and they are always included in the treatment cost as they are part of the orthodontic treatment.
Overcrowded teeth are the most common reason that people seek orthodontic treatment. Other problems we can correct are overlapped or rotated teeth, high canines, closing spaces, midline correction, open bites, correcting overjet and overbite. Overall we are trying to increase symmetry for a more aesthetic and functional smile.
Dr Gill is the best person to tell you this once a consultation has been done. Some treatment can be completed in six months or less but may not treat the more complicated yet important aspect, such as the bite.
These cases can involve wearing braces for between 18 and 24 months, although some treatments may be shorter.
It also depends on exactly how much the patient wants to correct and to what degree.
The process of fitting braces is not painful. Some discomfort is to be expected for a period after braces are fitted for the first time or after they have been tightened. However, this usually settles after a few days.
Depending upon which system you have you will usually be required to attend every 4-6 weeks so that we can access the rate of tooth movement and provide any adjustments to speed up the treatment.